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Approved research

The Impact of Education on Pain: Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws

Principal Investigator: Dr David Cutler
Approved Research ID: 43058
Approval date: May 7th 2019

Lay summary

There are enormous differences in the report of pain by education and income. People who are higher up in the education scale report pain much less than those who are lower down. It is unknown whether the experience of pain can be moderated by policy, or whether it is inherent to people who are not as fortunate in their social position. This study will help to determine if there are ways that society can influence pain experiences at middle and older ages, specifically by seeing whether people who were compelled to stay in school longer are less likely to report pain at middle and older ages. If people who were compelled to stay in school longer experience less pain than those who were allowed to leave school earlier, it suggests that additional education could be a powerful instrument that societies can use to help the least well off. In this analysis, no individual will be personally identified. Rather, people will be grouped by birth year and education, so that education receipt and pain experience can be looked at for these different cohorts of individuals.